When nations around the world adopted the Paris Agreement in December 2015, after two decades of failure, they took a big step towards a working regime to promote the fight against climate change.1 This document focuses both on the diplomatic paradigm shift that enabled success in Paris and on the considerable challenges that have arisen, before this year`s agreement. as the parties struggle to complete the implementation measures necessary to make the Paris regime work.2 The critical mechanism for achieving the 1.5 degree Celsius target requires each party to „prepare, communicate and maintain successive national contributions that it intends to achieve.” However, action is lacking in this area. Every five years, countries should assess their progress in implementing the agreement through a process known as the global stocktaking; the first is scheduled for 2023. Countries set their own targets, and there are no enforcement mechanisms in place to ensure they achieve them. The NRDC is working to make the Global Climate Action Summit a success by inspiring more ambitious commitments to the historic 2015 agreement and increased initiatives to reduce pollution. Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International, summed up this sentiment: „It sometimes seems that UN countries cannot agree on anything, but nearly 200 countries have joined forces and agreed on an agreement. Today, humanity has joined a common cause. The Paris Agreement is just one step on a long road, and there are parts of it that frustrate me, that disappoint me, but it is progress. The agreement alone will not get us out of the hole we are in, but it makes the sides less stiff. Yes, there is a broad consensus within the scientific community, although some deny that climate change is a problem, including politicians in the United States.
When negotiating teams come together for international climate talks, „there is less skepticism about science and more disagreement about how to set priorities,” says David Victor, a professor of international relations at the University of California, San Diego. Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, which sets legally binding emission reduction targets (as well as sanctions for non-compliance) only for developed countries, the Paris Agreement requires all countries – rich, poor, developed and developing – to do their part and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To this end, greater flexibility is built into the Paris Agreement: it does not include language on the commitments that countries should make, countries can voluntarily set their emission targets (NDCs), and no penalties are imposed on countries if they fail to meet the proposed targets. What the Paris Agreement requires, however, is monitoring, reporting, and reassessing countries` individual and collective goals over time in order to bring the world closer to the broader goals of the agreement. And the agreement provides for an obligation for countries to announce their next round of targets every five years, unlike the Kyoto Protocol, which aimed at this target, but did not contain a specific requirement to achieve it. . . .